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my bass has a buzz,...inside?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by groovking, Sep 25, 2002.

  1. i was just playing my 3/4 bass which i have on trial . its real quiet at home right now so i started playing abit and i hear this slight rattle or better described as a slight buzz. seems to be coming from the inside of the bass. i get a feeling something may be inside the bass causing this. any clues. i hear it when i hit a d on the a string, or any other note in that area or surrounding strings, mid register,. i guess i should bring it back to the store i bought it from, unless there is something obvious you folks may know that i should check. thanks in advance.......... :(
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Could be a loose seam. Could be a loose bass bar. Could be the wiring of the pickup touching the bass somewhere, if it's so equipped. Could be the endpin. Could be the strings on the tailpiece. Could be the machines. Could be a bad string. Could be something in the room.

    This list should keep you busy for a few minutes.
  3. I assume its not a buzz on the fingerboard, produced by actio set to olow or bad shaping of the fingerboard. Here are some ideas to try.

    1. Put a small light inside, and in a darkened room examine all of the bass's seams from the outside. Look also at the front and back plates, although a small or latent crack in a plate may create a buzz but not leak any light.

    2. Get an assistant to play the bass and reproduce the buzz, while you touch every part of the bass lighly with your hands. Usually you can locate the buzz this way.

    Also, of course, your friendly neighborhood bass luthier (hope you're lucky enough to have one nearby) should be able to find and repair any buzz.
  4. Link


    Jul 6, 2002
    Latrobe, PA
    my bass did something similiar to that, i thought it was the endpin, but after I messed around with it I found that a section of the A string, between the bridge and tailpiece (not sure of 'proper' term), was making the 'metallic' buzz... It had only buzzed while playing the G and D strings, both arco and pizz and stopped if slight pressure was applied to the tail piece or that section of string.
    I'd say do anything in the above posts... def. do #2 on myrick's list, have someone play it and get real close to the bass to find the general location of the buzz, then start touching the bass in different spots to see if you can stop it and pin point the problem.
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Unfortunately, finding a buzz can be a nightmare. If you are lucky it will be an open seam. One easy way to locate a buzzing seam is to use the tap method. Rap the top and back with your index finger second knuckle just above the joint of plate and rib. A solid seam will have a solid thunk sound whereas a buzzing seam will have more of a "fwap" sound.
    Touching the bass at different locales is not reliable always in terms of finding a buzz. You may put pressure let's say on the lower treble table and the buzz may stop. That's where the buzz is, right? What you may actually be doing is damping the overtones that are exciting the buzz which may be in a completely different place.
  6. i found it to be in the tail piece, but i havent attempted to repair it as of yet. thanks for all the great suggestions!
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Jeff--when I rap on an open seam, it sounds to me more like a THWWWIPPP....I never hear a FWAP...
  8. my Rubner had a seam open a few months back, but the sound when rapped was a definite FFRIMPT

    I'm no expert, but I suspect this will vary from bass to bass, according to the country of origin/nationality of the maker

    experienced luthiers here may have more insight into this
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    This is a new one on me. THWWWIPPP? Seriously? I've heard FWAP, CCHICK, PLUBBLUBLUB, KAPWING, and once even KAJSDBZJXCFASLERF.....but THWWWIPPP? Must be something that only happens to them expensive YURPEAN basses y'all YANKEES work on.
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Ahhh, luthierspeak...the language of love....

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